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J Crew shipping Horween Kentons

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    J Crew shipping Horween Kentons

    I ordered a pair of Kenton cap-toe boots at the end of August (on sale of course). Got them today. So they are getting *some* stock from China. Nice boots. Very stiff to start. Looking forward to them softening and the natural chromexcel darkening as they break in.
    Mark

    #2
    How's the fit for you? I have a pair in hand for a site review, but man, that instep is tight! Wayyy tighter than my RM Williams chelsea boots.

    How did the leather look out of the box for you? Any dents or dings you noticed?

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      #3
      I think these are definitely built on a dress shoe/boot (as opposed to a work boot) last. I have a wide forefoot and fairly narrow heel. The lasts used by the manufacturer(s) of the J. Crew Kenton and Ludlow products fit my feet well. I wear 10.5 in dress shoes and 11 in sneakers, I got these boots in 10.5 and they fit snug but not tight with medium weight socks.

      The boots came factory-fresh and very clean. As I'm sure you're aware, Chromexcel leather clearly shows minor dings and dents. I did not go through the boots with a fine-toothed comb, but I did take a look at the leather and the welt stitching and it all looked brand new (and well-made) to me. If anyone took the boots out of the box after they left the factory, they did an excellent job of repacking them to appear unopened.

      I have a couple more notes. First, on workmanship: I own three pair of Aldens, several pair of Allen Edmonds (including AE made for Ralph Lauren, which are a little nicer than your typical AE Strand), and a couple pair of J Crew shoes/boots. The workmanship on the J. Crew products is the best of the three, followed by AE, with Alden coming in last. This is in reverse price order, which I find interesting. Second, J. Crew is really stepping up their co-branding game. These boots came with three different hangtags - two Horween and one Vibram. They also came with a Chromexcel leather drink coaster. I've been wearing them for about 3 days to get break-in going. I think the natural coloring emphasizes the break in the leather right behind the toe cap a little bit, which is fine with me. Here's an article from Horween regarding leather breaking. https://www.horween.com/blog/2016/6/...and-properties

      My final impressions - pretty dang nice for about 1/3 the price of Aldens.





      Mark

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        #4
        Originally posted by motosacto View Post
        I think the natural coloring emphasizes the break in the leather right behind the toe cap a little bit
        If you feel with your hand, there's a gap in the leather lining right behind the toe cap area. Not sure why they did this, but I assume it's for cost cutting or some sort of ease of movement.

        All in all, they're really nice boots. For the price, I think they're competing with the likes of Grant Stone and Alden on looks, but the materials and design craftsmanship are lacking at $300.

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          #5
          Interesting. Maybe we have different models? My Kenton cap toe boots don’t have any gap in the lining - it is continuous from the toe back to the suede heel liner.

          Regarding materials, I find that these are much nicer than a pair of Pacers I owned and sold a number of years ago. When I compare them head-to-head with a pair of Alden 405 Indy boots, the exterior leather and liner feel just as nice. The welt is not quite as nice - the stitching is less dense. The Kenton Vibram sole isn’t quite as snazzy as the Alden Neocork sole, but it is a big step up from the soles on my old Pacers. Interestingly, the Kentons and Indys weigh almost exactly the same - 1 lb 15 oz each, which I think speaks to the thickness of the leather, amount of cork, etc. The Kentons probably aren’t hiding a bunch of EVA foam under the insole.

          With these Kenton cap toes, I think that J. Crew has really closed the quality gap with Alden. They’re not quite as nice, but I also got them on sale (as identified here on Dappered) for under $200. The packaging is even pretty good - they come in a fairly nice box that includes boot bags Time will tell how well they hold up…
          Mark

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